Racism should be talked about where it exists and confront it for what it is – WRONG! The Military had their hands full in the 60’s and 70’s, for it was bold and alive. You think Woodstock might have made it less of an issue with their “Love Power”!
My brother was in constant blood curdling fights during his high school years, He developed a chip on his shoulder as big as a boulder. At the precious age of 17, in 1964, he joined the Army and fought in Korea and Vietnam. His platoon Sergeant was black and he didn’t like that. The Sergeant knew this, by rumors or loose talk and confronted him, “You don’t like me BOY? Do you”? My brother confessed, “No SIR!” So the Sergeant invited my brother to meet him behind the barracks at a certain time to show him how much he didn’t like him. The Sergeant said that, “These stripes don’t cover any part of my ASS!”
My brother admits that his Sergeant was getting the best of him, and so he took his helmet and smacked him in the shins disabling the fight! He was immediately thrown into the brig and then he had to report to do KP, peeling taters and was eliminated from the graduating ceremonies! He had some serious reflecting to do.
Well, that was the start of some culturally influenced blow back. We have to remember, that period was 9 years after Rosa Parks…” The Bus Ride Heard Around the World!” Hate and bigotry was felt from both sides. The pendulum swung both ways and it was going to take time to right those wrongs.
Anyway, my brother is now a disabled Vietnam and Korean Vet. The time in the service took a toll on his body and mind. His attitude changed drastically, where he had to count on his brother, of a different color to watch his back. It didn’t matter what color your skin was, but your clothes better be “Olive Drab”. When it came to your fellow soldier, you became color blind. So it was, survival sealed the deal.
Veterans’ Outreach has helped well over 100,000 vets. We are color blind when it comes to Veterans. We’ve used a line from Shakespeare and amended it fit our mindset: “A Rose is still a Rose by any other name, just like our Veterans!”
So, as our much-anticipated start of spring rounds the corner, HOPE abounds. As the roses bloom, please remember our veterans and what they did for all of us. They allowed us to have these conversations and new and joyful beginnings.
God Bless our Nation and all of our veterans that protected it!